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How many labelers do you have? Some perspective on "gold standard" labels

Tue April 26th 2022, 4:30pm
Sloan 380Y
John Duchi, Stanford Statistics

The construction of most supervised learning datasets revolves around collecting multiple labels for each instance, then aggregating the labels to form a type of "gold-standard" label. We question the wisdom of this pipeline by developing a (stylized) model of this process and analyzing its statistical consequences, showing how access to non-aggregated label information can make training well-calibrated models easier or — in some cases — even feasible, whereas it is impossible with only gold-standard labels. The entire story, however, is subtle, and the contrasts between aggregated and fuller label information depend on the particulars of the problem. The theory we develop in the stylized model makes several predictions for real-world datasets, including when non-aggregate labels should improve learning performance, which we carefully test to corroborate the validity of our predictions.

This is based on joint work with Chen Cheng and Hilal Asi.

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